Henman, Willis Among Participants In 24-Hour Charity Tennis Marathon
Bright Ideas For Tennis continues to make a difference for those in need.
Tim Henman, Jack Draper and Marcus Willis were among current and former British players who joined the organisation's 24-hour tennis marathon at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre from 25-26 February to raise funds for the I Play 30 programme, which brings together local venues and schools to deliver free weekly coaching for students.
“It’s great to be back with Danny Sapsford and Bright Ideas,” Henman said in a video produced by Bright Ideas For Tennis. “This 24-hour Tennis-a-Thon is not only a great way of raising money, but it’s about the fundraising to provide opportunities within tennis for those that are less fortunate.”
Other British ATP players who participated were Dominic Inglot, James Auckland, Barry Cowan, Jamie Baker, Lee Childs, Martin Lee and Colin Beecher. They joined students from local schools as well as participants in the programme's inclusive tennis sessions for a memorable day of tennis.
Willis, who last year came out of retirement to pursue a doubles career, was happy to give back. The 32-year-old has supported Bright Ideas For Tennis for a few years and has visited clubs across the country, even recently trying "blind tennis", which he called "awesome".
“It’s great to work with Bright Ideas for Tennis to help give more people access to tennis coaching and activities,” Willis told ATPTour.com. “The charity works hard to give opportunities to those who wouldn’t normally get a chance to pick up a racquet and it’s brilliant to see so many other ATP Tour players sharing the court with the participants to support their fundraising efforts.”
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It was the 11th edition of the tennis marathon, which raises funds to allow for the organisation’s programming to continue to provide free access to sports for those who ordinarily would not receive it.
Danny Sapsford, the former British player who is co-founder and charity manager of Bright Ideas For Tennis, thanked all who participated in making the marathon successful again.
“We are delighted to be supported by so many current and former ATP Tour pros. They really do make such a difference to this event and it's great to see them giving back to the game,” Sapsford said. ”It’s an incredible experience for those taking part to play with them at the National Tennis Centre and create memories for a lifetime.”